Oscar De La Hoya described Josesito Lopez’s victory over Victor Ortiz as the young fighters ‘Rocky’ moment and WBC 154lb title holder Saul Alvarez will be out to avoid a case of ‘Rocky II’ on September 15 at the MGM Grand.
The Mexican superstar has come of age now at 22, but with 41-fights already behind him, is a seasoned campaigner despite his tender years and participates in his sixth world title bout against the surprise opponent.
‘Canelo’ was visibly shocked when sitting ringside for Ortiz v Lopez last month as the fight was stopped in the ninth round and won’t be taking the challenger lightly, even though he could only scale 144lbs for a welterweight contest.
“I think everyone watching was surprised that Lopez was that good.” Alvarez told World Boxing News.
“Ortiz hit him with lots of hard punches and he just kept coming. It was a great fight to watch and just the kind of fights I like my fans to see.”
Eyebrows were raised when Lopez was chosen as Alvarez’s fifth defence of the green belt, even though the Californian defeated scheduled opponent Ortiz and the champion admitted that he wasn’t sure what the Lopez win meant for his fall bout at the time.
“I really didn’t know,” said Alvarez. “We had already agreed to fight Ortiz but it was obvious that Lopez would be in the mix. He earned the shot at my title that night.
“(Lopez making 144lbs is) Not a big deal. He was taller than Ortiz and a little taller than me. He is a worthy challenger at any weight and my job is to beat him no matter what.”